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2016 Safest Places in Georgia

by Susan Gulliford

Over 10 million people call Georgia home and they all want a safe place to live and work. The ValuePenguin team analyzed 99 cities with populations of more than 5,000 to determine the safest cities in the Peach State. The crime scores ranged from 413 to 8,227.

The takeaway from this research was that there was no typical safe city in Georgia. Large, mid-size, and small cities all made the top five. Some of the safest cities had affluent, highly-educated populations and others were more middle-class. For more details, you can review the report here.  

5 Safest Places in Georgia

These cities had an average crime score of 470, which was 83% lower than their typical peer in the state. With some of its lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state. 

1. Johns Creek

With a population of over 84,000, Johns Creek is the largest city in the top five. It is a suburb northeast of Atlanta. In addition to its low rate of violent crime, Johns Creek had the lowest rate of property crime. This city is very affluent with a median household income more than double the median for Georgia and a very low rate of poverty.

2. Grovetown

The safest city in the mid-size category is the second safest overall. Grovetown had the fifth-lowest rate of violent crime and the second-lowest rate of property crime of any city. The police department has programs such as a house watches for when residents are away from home to keep crime low. Grovetown is a middle-class community with a median household income slightly above the median for Georgia and is located approximately 12 miles from Augusta, Ga.  

3. Flowery Branch

The smallest city in this research comes in at third. It is a middle-class community with a median household income of $62,863 and is situated 14 minutes from Gainesville, Ga. Flowery Branch had zero violent crimes reported in 2014 and the fifth-lowest rate of property crime. 

4. Milton

Milton (population of 36,702) is the second "large" city in the top five. The 39 police officers in Milton work hard to keep crime low. It had the second-lowest rate of violent crime in addition to a low rate of violent crime. This community is very affluent with a median household income 2.2 times the median for the state of Georgia.

5. Tyrone

This small town with a population of approximately 7,000 is 25 miles south of Atlanta. The city had the third-lowest rate of violent crime for 2014. The city has a median household income and homeownership rate above the averages for Georgia . 

Population Breakdown

Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 25,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 25,000. Here are our findings:

Full List of Places in Georgia

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Georgia” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.

Rank City Crime Score
1 Johns Creek  413
2 Grovetown  437
3 Flowery Branch  461
4 Milton  489
5 Tyrone  553
6 Peachtree City  627
7 Braselton  701
8 Holly Springs  870
9 Auburn  894
10 Folkston  898
11 Jefferson  900
12 Kennesaw  913
13 Loganville  1,004
14 Port Wentworth  1,054
15 Commerce  1,054
16 Alpharetta  1,064
17 Duluth  1,090
18 McRae  1,098
19 Canton  1,161
20 Roswell  1,164
21 Suwanee  1,241
22 Woodstock  1,246
23 Bremen  1,412
24 Fayetteville  1,463
25 Dallas  1,482
26 Acworth  1,537
27 Pooler  1,558
28 Decatur  1,581
29 Sandy Springs  1,672
30 Camilla  1,783
31 Kingsland  1,816
32 Snellville  1,837
33 Brookhaven  1,896
34 Smyrna  1,905
35 Cairo  1,939
36 McDonough  1,987
37 Adel  2,040
38 Statesboro  2,089
39 Dalton  2,166
40 Milledgeville  2,174
41 Winder  2,178
42 Fairburn  2,201
43 Athens-Clarke County  2,209
44 Newnan  2,209
45 Lafayette  2,240
46 Calhoun  2,344
47 Dunwoody  2,362
48 Gainesville  2,554
49 Thomaston  2,602
50 Villa Rica  2,626
51 Norcross  2,686
52 Centerville  2,717
53 Eatonton  2,718
54 Hinesville  2,726
55 Swainsboro  2,741
56 Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan  2,774
57 Cumming  2,782
58 Lilburn  2,784
59 Locust Grove  2,851
60 Carrollton  2,860
61 Toccoa  2,937
62 Sandersville  2,942
63 Marietta  3,095
64 Riverdale  3,211
65 Fitzgerald  3,232
66 Dublin  3,252
67 LaGrange  3,314
68 Valdosta  3,366
69 Forest Park  3,415
70 Powder Springs  3,436
71 Conyers  3,466
72 Thomasville  3,498
73 Cordele  3,499
74 Fort Valley  3,550
75 Covington  3,617
76 Waynesboro  3,653
77 Moultrie  3,656
78 Waycross  3,729
79 Warner Robins  3,868
80 Douglasville  3,928
81 Vidalia  3,991
82 Tifton  4,058
83 Fort Oglethorpe  4,109
84 Hapeville  4,207
85 Jesup  4,238
86 Eastman  4,442
87 Columbus  4,572
88 Chamblee  4,658
89 Albany  4,694
90 Griffin  4,877
91 Morrow  4,984
92 Garden City  5,061
93 Douglas  5,258
94 Americus  5,340
95 Brunswick  5,551
96 Union City  5,830
97 Atlanta  6,029
98 East Point  7,115
99 College Park  8,227

Year-over-year Change

There was a great deal of consistency from 2015 to 2016. Four of the five safest places this year were in the top five for 2015. Johns Creek moved up from number two last year to claim the top spot for 2016. Milton and Flowery Branch switched spots while Tyrone held steady as the fifth-safest place in both years.

Grovetown, which broke into the top five this year, was the safest mid-sized city for two years in a row. Its presence meant that every size category had one representative in the top five. Seven of the ten safest mid-sized cities from 2015 made it into the top ten for 2016. 

Johns Creek was the safest large city for two years in a row. In fact, the exact same big cities comprised the top five for 2015 and 2016. The large cities category had the most consistency with nine out of ten cities from the 2015 list repeating in 2016. 

Methodology

To rank these places, we collected data from the 2014 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 5,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores. 

Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!

Rank City Population Violent
Crime per 100K
Property
Crime per 100K
Crime Score
26 Acworth  21,727  184  2,808  1,537
37 Adel  5,313  358  4,047  2,040
89 Albany  75,858  1,022  5,531  4,694
16 Alpharetta  63,478  60  1,975  1,064
94 Americus  16,200  1,173  7,994  5,340
43 Athens-Clarke County  121,511  306  3,121  2,209
97 Atlanta  454,363  1,227  5,747  6,029
9 Auburn  7,202  222  1,430  894
7 Braselton  8,142  111  1,351  701
23 Bremen  6,294  270  2,637  1,412
33 Brookhaven  50,942  345  2,646  1,896
95 Brunswick  15,912  1,414  7,554  5,551
35 Cairo  9,845  274  3,758  1,939
46 Calhoun  15,956  226  4,675  2,344
30 Camilla  5,070  256  3,787  1,783
19 Canton  24,449  143  2,074  1,161
60 Carrollton  25,315  435  4,756  2,860
52 Centerville  7,663  248  6,003  2,717
88 Chamblee  16,053  1,071  6,790  4,658
99 College Park  14,780  2,152  11,123  8,227
87 Columbus  206,714  533  6,472  4,572
15 Commerce  6,553  244  1,785  1,054
71 Conyers  15,713  675  5,562  3,466
73 Cordele  11,202  634  6,106  3,499
75 Covington  13,535  473  6,864  3,617
57 Cumming  5,652  106  6,989  2,782
25 Dallas  12,621  190  2,852  1,482
39 Dalton  33,464  269  3,711  2,166
28 Decatur  20,241  148  3,078  1,581
93 Douglas  11,924  906  9,275  5,258
80 Douglasville  32,112  579  6,399  3,928
66 Dublin  16,423  542  5,547  3,252
17 Duluth  28,849  94  2,069  1,090
47 Dunwoody  47,915  121  4,562  2,362
98 East Point  35,929  1,291  10,454  7,115
86 Eastman  5,384  929  8,191  4,442
53 Eatonton  6,542  810  3,883  2,718
42 Fairburn  13,851  375  3,812  2,201
24 Fayetteville  16,424  164  2,813  1,463
65 Fitzgerald  9,073  496  6,183  3,232
3 Flowery Branch  6,259  -    1,214  461
10 Folkston  5,641  319  1,117  898
69 Forest Park  18,855  615  5,526  3,415
83 Fort Oglethorpe  9,573  470  8,440  4,109
74 Fort Valley  8,925  1,221  4,101  3,550
48 Gainesville  35,967  364  4,148  2,554
92 Garden City  8,931  1,736  5,867  5,061
90 Griffin  23,279  1,125  6,667  4,877
2 Grovetown  12,676  32  939  437
84 Hapeville  6,755  903  7,372  4,207
54 Hinesville  34,525  469  4,130  2,726
8 Holly Springs  9,925  101  1,773  870
11 Jefferson  9,802  153  1,643  900
85 Jesup  10,323  746  7,575  4,238
1 Johns Creek  84,256  33  705  413
12 Kennesaw  32,429  114  1,566  913
31 Kingsland  16,309  331  2,986  1,816
45 Lafayette  7,062  198  5,027  2,240
67 LaGrange  30,679  404  5,769  3,314
58 Lilburn  12,610  317  5,519  2,784
59 Locust Grove  5,704  316  6,329  2,851
13 Loganville  10,898  64  2,230  1,004
63 Marietta  59,663  508  4,448  3,095
36 McDonough  23,001  235  3,617  1,987
18 McRae  6,141  391  1,335  1,098
40 Milledgeville  19,519  333  3,735  2,174
4 Milton  36,702  19  994  489
91 Morrow  6,745  400  11,416  4,984
77 Moultrie  14,691  497  6,786  3,656
44 Newnan  35,232  483  2,929  2,209
51 Norcross  16,363  587  4,027  2,686
6 Peachtree City  34,989  29  1,266  627
27 Pooler  21,707  184  2,856  1,558
14 Port Wentworth  6,840  292  1,579  1,054
70 Powder Springs  14,524  971  4,372  3,436
64 Riverdale  15,607  442  5,888  3,211
20 Roswell  95,387  115  1,876  1,164
62 Sandersville  5,822  653  5,204  2,942
29 Sandy Springs  101,184  157  2,713  1,672
56 Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan  236,682  392  3,594  2,774
34 Smyrna  53,965  287  2,876  1,905
32 Snellville  19,480  175  3,583  1,837
38 Statesboro  30,298  271  3,578  2,089
21 Suwanee  18,313  93  2,539  1,241
55 Swainsboro  7,634  511  5,017  2,741
49 Thomaston  9,066  441  4,809  2,602
72 Thomasville  18,752  389  6,629  3,498
82 Tifton  16,414  792  6,458  4,058
61 Toccoa  8,346  503  5,476  2,937
5 Tyrone  7,107  28  1,323  553
96 Union City  20,691  1,271  8,424  5,830
68 Valdosta  56,862  324  5,784  3,366
81 Vidalia  10,724  774  6,807  3,991
50 Villa Rica  14,570  343  4,935  2,626
79 Warner Robins  73,418  447  6,162  3,868
78 Waycross  14,149  466  7,117  3,729
76 Waynesboro  5,789  985  5,770  3,653
41 Winder  14,799  277  4,115  2,178
22 Woodstock  27,665  116  2,342  1,246

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